As I celebrate my 13th year in the Talent Acquisition Industry, beginning in 2003 as a middle aged professional who relied on candidates to educate me on what it was that they actually did to the present day as a middle aged professional who seeks talented individuals and spends time learning about them as people, I just feel like I have a sunrise and sunset in the work that I do.
Along the way, through my “agency” experiences, my “HR Consulting” experiences, and my “sales” experiences as a professional, I have met many wonderfully talented people, learned about the “Heinz 57” iterations of business models, and looking upon my career to date, I can honestly say that the best experience I have had over the entire 13 years is the focusing of my work on how I wanted others to remember me. I have always focused on treating another as “thy neighbor”.
I realized very early in my career as a sourcer/recruiter that various terms and phrases of our industry felt denigrating and objectifying to me and although I have caught myself infrequently making reference to the same, doing so always felt unnatural and inhumane. What feels natural and what feels right is that everyone, regardless of where they are at in their respective lives, wants to make a contribution. They want to make a difference. And they want to feel that the toll they offer each day adds value to the lives of others and to their own lives. And I have come to understand my role as one of being a conduit, an assessor, a connector, a beacon, and a reference for each whom I have interacted with. So here is what I have learned about the purposeful and intentional way that I treat the people I interact with.
1. When I treat candidates as people and spend time getting to know them as they are and where they are in their career, I feel good and they feel heard.
2. When I contact someone about a role I am working on I create an expectation with them that I am going to help them, if not with the specific role I am calling them about then with another role within the enterprise.
3. When I position myself as a promoter of people to colleagues and business contacts I am referred to, I feel that I am valued and the people I am promoting feel like I have provided them a service that is meaningful to them.
4. When I am grateful for the opportunity to do the work I do, regardless of the outcome of my work, I feel like each person I meet is someone put in my path to assist and learn from.
5. When a person I have helped to seek a new professional opportunity is successful in gaining that position or role, and I get a phone call, text, or e-mail from that person acknowledging that my efforts made a real difference in securing their successful outcome, I know that what I do has the potential to change lives.
6. When I refer people I have networked with to colleagues, I do so with a commitment to support their candidacy and to do my best to ensure that they are contacted in a timely manner and treated with the same level of commitment, as if I was continuing to represent them.
7. When I finish my day, I am complete for that day, nothing that was to be finished in that day is left until the next day.
8. When I focus on my actions, my attitudes, my priorities, and my intentions, the results I see show up take care of themselves.
9. When I am good with people, people are good with me.
As a Talent Acquisition professional, I am truly blessed with talent, skills, abilities, knowledge, and passion, much of which I have acquired over the past 13 years. However, what has been my most valued characteristic and trait, one that has served me well has been an ongoing commitment to personal growth and development throughout my life.
And as a never-aging, middle-aged professional I will continue to focus my attention on the impact I leave others with through my efforts . I know that if I leave others moved, motivated, and inspired then my work and interaction with them has been on target.